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Revolutions per minute (RPM) on vinyl records

Revolutions per minute

In this short read, we dive into the technical aspects of revolutions per minute on vinyl records. In this space, we’ll discuss the practical implications of revolutions per minute (RPM), exploring how various speeds affect playback, audio quality, and overall performance. Whether you’re a seasoned vinyl aficionado or a newcomer to the world of analog sound, join us as we break down the nitty-gritty details of RPM and its impact on your vinyl listening experience

What is revolutions per minute (RPM)?

RPM stands for “Revolutions Per Minute,” and in the context of vinyl records, it refers to the speed at which the record rotates on a turntable. The most common speeds for vinyl records are 33 RPM and 45 RPM (there is also 78 RPM that is used). Each speed has a different impact on the playback of the audio recorded on the vinyl. The choice of RPM affects the amount of information that can be packed onto a vinyl record, as well as the quality of the audio reproduction. Different turntables have settings to accommodate these various speeds, allowing listeners to play a wide range of vinyl records on their equipment.

Difference between vinyl records recorded at 45 or 33 revolutions per minute (RPM)

I have read a simple explanation online about 45rpm record and their better quality of sound for everyone to understand. Think of drawing a flipbook character. If you were given 50 pages to draw on and flip through, you could create an animation. But imagine if you drew the same animation on 100 pages. You’d have to flip the pages twice as fast for the character to move at the same speed, but the changes from page to page would also be more slight, making the animation considerably smoother.

Better quality or more music

Thats it. At Twlinch we are recording both 33 RPM and 45 RPM vinyl records, and the main difference between these two is how much sound and how good the quality of sound can be recorded at each speed. Here is the comparison between these two:

  1. Rotational Speed:
    • 45rpm records: These records rotate at 45 revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher rotational speed allows for shorter playing times per side but typically offers better sound quality due to wider grooves and slower linear velocity.
    • 33rpm records: These records rotate at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute (rpm). They have longer playing times per side compared to 45rpm records but may sacrifice some sound quality due to narrower grooves and faster linear velocity.
  2. Playing Time:
    • 45rpm records: Because of their higher rotational speed, 45rpm records typically have shorter playing times per side, usually accommodating one song per side. They are commonly used for singles or shorter recordings.
    • 33rpm records: With their lower rotational speed, 33rpm records can accommodate longer playing times per side, making them suitable for full-length albums or longer recordings.
  3. Sound Quality:
    • 45rpm records: Generally, due to their slower linear velocity and wider grooves, 45rpm records tend to offer better sound quality, especially in terms of clarity and detail.
    • 33rpm records: While 33rpm records provide satisfactory sound quality for most listeners, they may not match the level of detail and clarity provided by 45rpm records, particularly for audiophiles.
  4. Usage and Purpose:
    • 45rpm records: These are commonly used for singles, promotional releases, or shorter recordings. They are favored for their higher fidelity and are often collected by enthusiasts.
    • 33rpm records: These are typically used for full-length albums, allowing for longer playing times per side. They became the standard format for LPs (Long Play) and are widely used for various genres of music.

Whatever you need!

In summary, the choice between 45 RPM and 33 RPM vinyl records depends on factors such as desired playing time, sound quality preferences, and the specific recordings being played! Create your vinyl record in our website builder and leave us a notice if you want us to record your vinyl at 45 RPM!